17.6.14

THE CASE FOR SELF-ORGANIZATION.

Myth Busters illustrated the value of emergent order in an experiment sending drivers through an intersection first controlled by a cop, then configured as a North American courtesy corner, and then set up as a rotary.  This appears to be an older experiment, as one of the cast donned a British bobby helmet as part of the rotary setup.  The rotary -- note, a simple one, none of those hermaphrodite Wisconsin channelized multi-lane abominations -- handled the greatest number of cars, and the traffic cop served more to delay cars than to facilitate flow.  In the experiment, cast members flipped signs on the approaches to the intersection instructing drivers to go ahead or to turn.  There was no provision for pedestrians as far as I could see.

The good news is that traffic engineers in Rockford are experimenting with British-style simple rotaries in residential neighborhoods beset with speeders.
Barrels are slowing cars; it's a temporary fix for now. Over the next three months the city will decide whether to install traffic circles at South 2nd and Oak, 2nd and Grove, and Crosby and Highland.

It's a change that could make the intersection safer for not only drivers, but also for those who live in the area.
If Rockford goes with the rotaries, keep them simple. Maybe a ten-foot radius circle in the middle of the intersection. No multiple lanes, no channels, no complexity.

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